She wants to be a joyful giver because of her love for Jesus. So every now and then, she buys premium coffee that helps feed kids in Africa. She was at the grocery store the other day and the clerk asked her if she wanted to make a dollar donation to a good cause, she said, “Why not, I saved 10 bucks on Kale, Sriracha, and Mason Jars anyways.” When a cool and worthy human rights project comes her way she does not hesitate to crowdfund it on Kickstarter. Just the other day she realized half her wardrobe was from several BOGO (Buy One, Give One) clothing brands, so of course a selfie was in order. Many of her hashtags on social media help support several causes and her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are always spreading awareness of the social injustice issues that are plaguing the planet. Jamie loves to do what she can to help. She loves to give.
Recently, after watching a sermon jam with sound bites from David Platt and John Piper on Vimeo, Jamie realized that as a Christian she needed to invest in the Great Commission. In the past, she had helped raise money for mission-related ministries while attending a Passion Conference. However, she had never supported missions long-term before. Her parents had partnered with a missionary for 25 years, which means they had committed their resources to missions throughout her entire life. But, Jamie is not like her parents. Her one-and-done project-oriented trends in philanthropy are different than that of previous generations.
How does Jamie’s giving personality match up with the need to support the Great Commission? Does she have to become like her parents in order to contribute? The answer is no. However, conference offerings, BOGO merchandise, and crowdfunding, although beneficial, will not completely fulfill the need missions requires. What is required from this next generation of givers is commitment to people. How this commitment is manifested will look completely different, but commitment none the less is vital.
According to several sources, Jamie and her friends are projected to be the most outstanding philanthropic generation of all time. How they commit to the “goers” in the Great Commission could be absolutely amazing! Jamie’s highly relational, authentic, innovative, and tech-savvy nature could be exactly what the new generation of “goers” need. The only thing stopping her from opening the flood gates of her giving power is action and allegiance. As a sender, Jamie needs to find a way to commit to a goer in order to produce a partnership.
Jamie asked her friends if they are committing to anyone in missions. One of her friends explained how he uses some of the profit from his start-up business to help support a missionary in Japan. Another friend explained how she joyfully inherited a partnership with a missionary in Brazil from her grandmother. With her friend’s examples in mind, Jamie decided to contact Encompass World Partners to see how she could help support the Great Commission.
Although “Jamie” is someone we made up, she does portray some of the features of the millennial generation. In this series, we’ve been highlighting the potential of the next generation to generously and creatively send more workers, supporting a new generation of laborers in missions. We’ve also laid the groundwork for a biblical basis for giving. Our hope in this little over-generalized allegory is to challenge millennials to not only give to the causes they care about, but to take up the long term sacrificial giving to missions that their parents and grandparents have faithfully supported through the years.
Missionaries are sent and sustained in their ministry by supporters who bear with them across continents in prayer and in giving. They are also discipled, trained, and cared for by stateside staff of Encompass World Partners whose goal is to see more fruitful disciple-making teams among the least reached.
From one millennial giver to another, I challenge you to prayerfully respond in one of three ways:
1) Adopt missionaries already supported by your family.
Ask your grandma, or uncle, or whoever, what missionaries they support and why they feel the ministry is important. You might share the worker’s same vision in ministry, and find great joy and community in joining the story your family’s writing in supporting the work to make disciples. Intentionally seeking to partner in giving and praying with your family members will draw you closer to the ministry and to your family as they mentor you in the funding the Great Commission.
2) Support an Encompass missionary with the greatest need.
Ask us which missionaries need to raise additional support. I promise you, we have a few. Some are in their last leg of support raising, trying to get to the field for the first time. Other missionaries lose supporters as their supporters age or even pass away. When we asked an experienced missionary the age of his youngest supporter he told us “44 years old”. That says a lot. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing for even 20% of this missionary’s ministry were funded by the upcoming generation!
3) Give to the stateside work of Encompass
Our office in Atlanta is the base of operations for our global reach. Week in and week out, our multi-generational team of just under 30 people is hard at work to recruit, equip, and deploy more workers. From initial application, assessments, support raising, and training to deployment, field-mentoring, and member care, our staff exists to see the work on the field be both faithful and fruitful. Watch our Intro Video: Mobilization Services